With the selling of the former Tavern building and Carbon County Senior Center, the local Boys & Girls Club has found itself without a location to gather the children and teens that utilize the club’s many services.
LeAnn Saldivar, the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake, stated that the aspect that will be most challenging is that they have been fortunate enough to have the free use of space. All of the dollars raised for the club went to staff, supplies, food and other necessities. It is not insurmountable to have a manageable monthly lease or rent, though Saldivar expressed that they are likely not in a position to outright buy and have a mortgage.
The Boys & Girls Club has been in a varying degree of locations and is able to co-locate with other amenities, such as modular type units on a property where utilities are accessible. Freestanding buildings are a plus and, in a perfect world, there would be access to outdoor play or gym space.
The ability is needed to separate the teens from elementary-aged children. This need is both for safety reasons and due to the two age groups requiring a different type of programming.
It was stressed that the club’s goal is not to be a child-care facility, but to keep children and teens in the club membership throughout the junior and high school years. This is for a number of reasons with the first being to prevent them from making negative life-changing decisions and to ensure that they get through high school on time and have a sense of what they want after. Being able to serve teens properly is a priority.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the club’s operation for a time; however, during that time, the club continued to provide meals and served as an emergency care center for children of essential workers. The club is adaptable and can respond to those situations. It helped to keep the eight members on staff paid as they were under the state.
“Their jobs are important to us,” Saldivar stated.
There are 250 children and teens that utilize the club each year and Saldivar stated that it is the club staff’s job to ensure that the money is raised to keep it running. She expressed that the Price extension has done well with growing the resources for the club.
She then stressed that the community has been incredibly generous and that the club will need a place early in the school year. With the children and teens isolated since March due to the pandemic, there is expected to be some slippage in education due to the distance learning challenges. Saldivar stated that the club can really assist those students. Saldivar continued by stating that they have a very active team of the board of directors out of Salt Lake, many of which have ties and history in Price and are highly motivated to work with others in the area.
Those that have ideas on a location for the Boys & Girls Club or that would like to speak with them further on the topic may contact Megan Marshall at (435) 650-0698, Olivia Dudding at (435) 637-6066 or Saldivar at (801) 322-4411.
“We have no intention of going anywhere,” Saldivar concluded.